The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, three French schemes worth €100 million (US$121.12 million) in total, to support the fisheries sector affected by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and the consequent quota share reductions foreseen in the provisions of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). These are the first support measures approved by the Commission in the context of inter-institutional discussions on the proposed Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).
While Friday, April 23’s decisions do not prejudge whether the support measures will eventually be eligible for BAR funding, which will be assessed once the BAR Regulation will have entered into force, they already provide France with legal certainty that the Commission considers them compliant with EU State aid rules, irrespective of the ultimate source of funding.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, “The fisheries sector is one of the most affected by Brexit, requiring fishermen and downstream market operators in affected Member States to re-organise and adapt to the new situation. The three French schemes approved today, with a total budget of €100 million, are the first measures to support the sector in the context of the proposed Brexit Adjustment Reserve. We will continue to work closely with all Member States concerned to enable swift and effective solutions to mitigate the impact of Brexit, in line with State aid rules.”
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